#UCTLockDownLetters is a new feature on the University of Cape Town (UCT) news site. Staff, students, parents of students: we want to hear about your experiences of work and life in lockdown. Emails, audio and video clips, prose and poetry are also very welcome. This is your space.
This contribution to Lockdown Letters comes from Associate Professor Ellen Hurst from the Humanities Education Development Unit.
5 May 2020
Another beautiful morning in lockdown
Far too early for a glass of wine
My toddler’s fifth whine
For a little bit of tv and a chocolate egg
An email from work
They’re glad to hear we’re all writing lots of papers
I find this hilarious
The infant has lost interest in pouring water into cups
I set up a teddy bear picnic
Then eat it
I look for recipes for salt-free playdough
(In case the dog eats it)
Then make some.
We cut biscuit shapes with metal cutters
And make wiggly worms.
Eventually I let her watch cBeebies
I wash dishes and hang the laundry
Make her scrambles
It’s 12 and still no work done
It takes an hour to get my child to nap.
I sit down, put my feet up, check the news
I know I shouldn’t, but hope drives me.
An hour later she wakes up again.
I didn’t answer an email yet
Never mind write something
Lost in reports of Covid deaths
The latest science
And Trump the Terrifying
I think of the loss of my Dad
The northern summer we’d had planned
I wonder if they’ll accept teddy bear picnics
In lieu of a sabbatical publication count.
UCT News apologises unreservedly for the fact that an incomplete version of this poem was initially posted.
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